Review: Pianista (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Pianista
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Superb Corp.
Publisher: Superb
Age Rating: 3|E
Price: £17.99|€19,99|$24.99
Release Date: 25th October 2018

Review code kindly provided by Superb

A few weeks ago I saw Pianista for the first time. The game itself is a classical music rhythm game that fills a nice gap for classical fans.

No longer do we have to put up with pop songs in order to enjoy a guitar hero like game. Instead of the Bee Gees, Beatles, or Jamiroquai,  I can play along to Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel.

The game includes numerous music tracks which were written by more than 20 different composers. The big question however remains; is this game worth the asking price? Well judging on my family’s time with the game the answer is yes.


Pianista’s gameplay is very familar to music rhythm game fans.  What sets it apart from other games in the genre I’ve played, is that its built around classical piano pieces.

The goal of the game is to transform the player into a “Legendary Virtuoso.”  I must admit, it will take me time to reach such a status because I’m currently struggling with the easiest play mode but I’m gradually improving.

The difficulty of each piece depends on which difficulty you select.  If you’re a novice then light mode is for you, but as you progress you can advance onto normal and technical.  You can also select to play using 4 keys or 6 or make adjustments to the speed.

There are 3 game modes in total, and each game mode allows the player to customize their game selection.

The first mode is Matinee which allows players to tackle a selection of 3 musical pieces.

The second mode labelled concours challenges the player to earn awards by completing courses.  The prize for completing each course is a new piano which unlocks a new design environment to enjoy.  I’ve also noticed that  there are some new musical pieces to unlock as well as further course challenges

Ensemble allows two players to combine their efforts in order to complete each piece.  If truth be known however, it’s possible for two players to use a individual joy-con in order to play together.  My two eldest daughters have played Matinee together which proved helpful to them in learning how to play the game.

If you want to compete further afield then each mode allows players to compete with others across the world via online leaderboards.

As a game, Pianista’s design is both simple but elegant, and I as well as my children continue to enjoy our time with it.

The game is already becoming something of a favourite amongst my  daughters which is probably helped by their interest in music.  I’ve also noticed that they’ve discovered a way of cheating by mashing all the buttons together, but the game doesn’t appear to reward such behaviour.


The game proves to be educational in that it puts a face and name to well known pieces of music. A large number of tunes will be somewhat familiar to most people without knowing a great deal about them.

The game does a good job of categorizing composers and music and even offers players the chance to read a small profile about each individual listed.  It must be noted that there appears to be something of a translation issue with certain profiles but this is something that could be easily remedied  with an update.

Another use the game appears to have, is for musicians such as my wife to obtain details about musical pieces; which allows her to search for piano music online.

Overall I think we’ve all been somewhat enlightened by the information the game offers.

Visuals and Sound

The game’s visual style suits the mood of the game overall.  It boasts a nice variety of skins which are unlocked by completing concours stages.

Where the game really shines is in the musical department. The music sounds great and if the player should decide to have a break, they can simply leave the game on in the background in order to listen without frantically pressing buttons. It’s obvious that lots of work has gone into the overall design of the game and the developers deserve credit for that.


I as well as my daughters like Pianista a lot.  My girls rarely ask me if they can play a game but it appears Pianista has changed that for now.

I’ve even seen my 6 week old baby bounce on my wife’s tummy in time to the music.

As for me, I’ve always wanted a classical music rhythm game and Pianista fills that void nicely.

I like it a Lot


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